Saturday, October 2, 2010

Harness Creek

My blog posts are primarily seem to always focus on DIY and troubleshooting rather than the short trips and day sails and day-to-day experiences that most bloggers record. I guess day sails and short bits seem unimportant to me ad more over, why would anyone read them.  Because they are the real, actual substance of life, what really happens, and because we are social creatures by DNA instruction.

A few weeks ago I did an over-night trip by myself; nothing new there. I've sailed alone countless times over many years. The requirements and preparations  are so simple; a change of clothes, some perishable food (the galley remains stocked with non-perishables), and a weather forecast without gale warnings. I didn't even have a notion of where I was headed--I simply pointed the boat out into the Bay, raised sail, engaged the autopilot, and glanced at the chart to see what might lay in a convenient sailing direction. Since it was blowing firmly from the southeast, because I was leaving after work and only had so much daylight, and because most harbors to the south from Deale are a good ways. I looked north and Harness Creek jumped out at me: I hadn't been there, there was a park wrapping around to east, and it was the right distance. The wind was supposed to revers the next day, making for an easy broad reach both ways. Lazy.

Cats feel so slow broad reaching. We made 8-knots easily and caught and passed a number of 40-foot monohull cruisers. But really speed wasn't the point. Well, perhaps it became so when I spotted a Gemini headed the same way, screacher up and all. I caught him after a bit, but it was poor sailing on his part, going too deep with stalled sails, while I would alternate between wing-and-wing and a healthy broad reach.

Harness Creek is a small creek just south of Annapolis, with houses on one shore and Quiet Waters Park on the other.

Dingy parking is where you find it--the small cove to the SE works well
There are kayak rentals, pleasant walking paths, and all manner of scheduled activities. Ice skating in the winter, if you are a hardy cruiser! The water was warm enough for swimming, perhaps too fresh for jellies or just too far into the fall, and the southerly breeze found the place easily enough.

Mystic Whaler, a 105-foot replica. The gun ports are panted on and she appeared to be steel. A tourist cruise boat, with a greenhorn paid crew, judging by the anchoring circus.

 I was a bit surprised to see my neighbor for the night. Big. Unremarkable.

I was a bit surprised to see that my Delta had dragged some 20 feet. First time, but not unexpected. The cruising guide said the holding was poor, it felt that way when anchoring, and I had set a second anchor (Fortress F16) which felt bomber in the muck. It had blown that night, up to 25-30 knots I guess. Oddly, when it was time to lift the anchors, both were well set, so perhaps I didn't move and it was only the rode straightening and the wind shifting. Quien sabe.

I sprawled out on the trampoline after dinner, stared at the stars, and fell asleep for an hour of more, quite by accident. All was right with the world.

By morning the wind had clocked, as predicted and that sail home was simple. The starboard engine wouldn't come up, but that is the stuff of an earlier post and was no real concern. It was another excuse for a swim.

I don't post stories of day sails and simple overnights. Little discovery, little BFS, little thrill. But time well spent, messing about in boats.


  1. I enjoy reading posts like this, Drew.

    We used our FX16 for the first time a few days ago and was really impressed with how well it set in the mud.

  2. In in soft mud, regardless of what the Rocna folks say, they are without equal. Once set under power or wind, they don't come out as easily on a shift as one might think. But since they will never reset, I don't test that theory much.

    But a Rocna 15 is on my wish list, to replace a 10kg Delta as my primary. I don't like the delta in soft mud.

    How much trouble is it to wash the Rocna, or does it not bring up as much mud as I've been told?